Thursday, July 21, 2016

Frank and Beans

I was sitting in another waiting room at the hospital. An attractive women in her late thirties, wearing some kind of Disney Character scrubs called my name directly to me. I was the only person in the waiting room holding a purple folder. Red meant CT scans. Green was X-Rays.

Purple was Ultrasounds.

I followed her back to the ultrasound room. She looked at my paper work and looked at me. Looked at my paper work and looked at me. I was sweating so bad I felt like I was in a sauna.

"I will need you to remove your pants and underwear." She handed me a paper gown. "I understand that we are doing an Ultrasound of the left side. What are we looking for? What are the symptoms?"

I was silent. I did not think she needed to know my predicament.

"I need to know what I am looking for." She said.

"I know. I just don't think you really need to know. My doctor, she just wants to make sure I do not have any physical issues."

"Well are you in pain? Is there a noticeable lump? Why did you see your doctor in the first place?" she asked in rapid succession.

Anxiety and embarrassment sometimes, physically,  feel very similar. I could not tell which I was experiencing.

"I would rather not say, if that is okay with you." I responded.

I removed my pants. She started instructing me on how I was supposed to positioned.I was laying on my back.  She was going to move the frank upward towards my belly and wrap a towel over it to keep it in place. The towel was slightly tucked under my back.  I was to place the beans on top of a rolled cloth to keep them easily accessible.

"This may be cold she said." She squirted lubricating jelly on the beans.

I was looking at the drop ceiling trying to count the holes in the tiles to keep myself distracted.  Now the whole reason I was at the hospital in the first place was that I was having issue keeping the frank in check. Now I was laying down while a woman is rubbing the beans with lubricant. In my head I knew it was not going to end well. I was doing my best to concentrate on anything else. I started to do some breathing exercises my therapist had taught me. I thought I was about to have a panic attack.  After a minute or two I found my mental zone and finally felt okay.

"Everything okay?" She asked. " I need to check the other side to make a comparison."

She squirted more jelly on the beans.

She totally took me out of my mental zone when she talked.  Then I felt the towel move. Then it moved some more. Then it moved a lot. The towel fell off.

She was very professional. She did not say anything. She finished the scan and told me that everything looked okay but was going to have to get a doctor to double check. She covered the frank and beans with the paper gown and she left.

Two minutes later a man in a white lab coat in his forties walked in followed by the ultrasound tech,

"Hi. I am the doctor. What seems to be the problem?"

"My doctor recommended I get the ultrasound to rule out a few things. She also said there was a slight bump on the left side." I said.

"But why would your doctor send you here.  Everything I can see on the pictures is that everything is normal. There is a slight varicocele but nothing to worry about. What were the symptoms to lead up to this?"  He crossed his arms and gave me a stern look.

"I...I... seem to, seem to have..." I stuttered and could not get the words out.

"It's okay. Let me take a look."

He removed the paper gown and the frank was staring right back at him not wanting to go camping but making sure the tent was ready. The doctor took a step back. The technician turned around.

I started crying. I was crying out of relief that I did not have cancer. I was crying because of how embarrassed I was. I was crying because at that time I felt crazy.

"I can't control this." I said through tears. "This happens all the time and I can't get rid of it."

"It's okay." the doctor said as he sat in the chair next to the exam table. "Let's talk about this from the beginning."

For the next ten minutes I poured my guts about about everything, the sharks, the meds, the side effects. When I was done talking I finally calmed down (frank did not).

The doctor stood up and said, "You are probably right, this is probably due to the medication. As far as I can see there is nothing physically wrong with you." He turned and left.

I did not like they way he stressed the word "physically".

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